Durham to run criminology classes in prisons

Students will join prisoners in what the institution says is a European first

October 29, 2014

Students from the University of Durham’s School of Applied Social Sciences will join an equal number of offenders serving time at HMP Durham and HMP Frankland for a 10-week course in criminal justice, covering topics such as whether prison works, the causes of crime, and drugs law.

The initiative is based on the US Inside-Out programme, originally developed in 1997 at Temple University in Philadelphia, which has involved more than 20,000 learners. Durham’s criminology lecturers have completed Inside-Out training inside maximum security prisons in the US.

Durham said that the programme would encourage inmates to “recognise their capacity to make changes in their own lives as well as in the broader society”, and to be “challenged intellectually”, potentially enhancing their education and employment prospects on release.

At the same time, the project enables students to get a new perspective from behind bars on the issues that they are studying.

In the US, Inside-Out has led to the creation of thinktanks within prisons supported by academics, and Fiona Measham, Durham’s professor of criminology, said she hoped that the UK initiative would prove equally successful.

“This is a very powerful programme which will challenge both the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ students and encourage them to open up about their preconceptions of each other,” said Professor Measham.

“We will discuss the labels we attach to people and the feelings and emotions associated with them.”

The first class at HMP Durham is scheduled for 29 October, with classes at Frankland set to follow in January.

Angie Petit, the deputy governor of HMP Durham, added: “This partnership with Durham University will provide a new opportunity for prisoners to study alongside university students to discuss key issues in the criminal justice system.

“This will not only help them build new skills, it will also encourage them to re-examine the impact of their own actions on wider society.”


You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Assistant Recruitment - Human Resources Office

University Of Nottingham Ningbo China

Outreach Officer

Gsm London

Professorship in Geomatics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Professor of European History

Newcastle University

Head of Department

University Of Chichester
See all jobs

Most Commented

men in office with feet on desk. Vintage

Three-quarters of respondents are dissatisfied with the people running their institutions

A face made of numbers looks over a university campus

From personalising tuition to performance management, the use of data is increasingly driving how institutions operate

students use laptops

Researchers say students who use computers score half a grade lower than those who write notes

Canal houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

All three of England’s for-profit universities owned in Netherlands

As the country succeeds in attracting even more students from overseas, a mixture of demographics, ‘soft power’ concerns and local politics help explain its policy